Updated: Dec 26, 2020
For Pete Rock, it all began to come together in 1989, thanks to Heavy D and Marley Marl. Tagging along with big cuz Heavy D to Marley Marl's spot to put the finishing touches on the Marley produced, "Gyrlz They Love Me", it's when Pete kicked in the door.
Pete Rock was messing around on the turntables in Marley's studio and PR's precise scratching caught Marley's ear. Marley asked Pete if he wanted to do the scratches on "Grylz They Love Me" and of course an emphatic YES was the answer.
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Less than a month later, DJ Kevvy Kev, a DJ for Marley's "In Control Show" on WBLS, had a car accident. Obviously, Pete's scratching made an impression on Marley, because he hit Heavy D and asked about getting his lil cousin Pete Rock to replace Kevvy Kev on the show. Pete came through and after a month, DJ Pete Rock was the talk of NYC radio.
PETE ROCK "IN CONTROL" MIX SHOW WBLS 1989
PETE ROCK "IN CONTROL" MIX SHOW WBLS 1990
In 1989, aside from the scratches on Heavy D's "Gyrlz They Love Me", on the Big Tyme album, Pete Rock, along with Eddie F, co-produced "Mood" and "Big Tyme". Pete also, along with Heavy D, produced "A Better Land" and "Let It Flow".
Pete also produced two songs for Groove B Chill in 1990, "Starting From Zero" and "There It Is".
In 1990 Pete Rock continued to hit the studio in production mode on Heavy D's "Peaceful Journey" album (released in July 1991) crafting the classic posse cut, "Don't Curse", along with, "Let It Rain", "Do Me, Do Me", "Letter To The Future" and "Cuz He's Always Around".
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1991 became busy for PR, on the production tip. Along with the production for Heavy D and working on his own project, he produced joints for Kid-N-Play, Brand Nubian and Main Source.
Also, finally, on June 25, 1991, Pete Rock and his Mt. Vernon cohort, C.L. Smooth, dropped their often overlooked and underrated EP, "All Souled Out".
They followed it with their, now classic, 1992 full album release, "Mecca & The Soul Brother".
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In 1994 Pete Rock Rock & C.L. Smooth dropped their 3rd offering, "The Main Ingredient". Due to creative differences and different pursuits, the dynamic duo decided to part ways as a group. They would come together to create a few more songs, on different Pete Rock projects, but not a full release. Something many hip-hop heads are still yearning for.
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The Mt. Vernon beat-smith became the "go-to" remix / production maestro of the 90's, as he remixed or produced gems for a "who's who" list of hip-hop artists including, Heavy D, Nas, The Notorious B.I.G., Rakim, Gang Starr, Naughty By Nature, Redman, Main Source, Doug E. Fresh, Run DMC, Brand Nubian, Public Enemy, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Father MC, Slick Rick, AZ, Das Efx, Jeru The Damaja, Raekwon, Inspektah Deck, Black Star, Rahzel, Common, Sadat X, Da Youngstas, A.D.O.R., YGz, INI, K-Solo, Lost Boyz, House of Pain, LL Cool J, EPMD, Mic Geronimo and All City, amongst others.
In 1998 Pete Rock released the "Soul Survivor" compilation, an underground smash that included another "who's who" list of hip-hop lyical heavyweights such as Method Man, Black Thought, Big Pun, Norega, Heavy D, Inspektah Deck, Kurupt, Prodigy, Common, Raekwon, Ghostface, OC, Sticky Fingaz and more. The sequel was released in 2004.
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The PeteStrumental franchise launched in 2001, propelled the instrumental hip-hop album trend. The sequel dropped in 2015.
PeteStrumentals 3 , Pete Rock's latest offering, just dropped, but with a bit of a twist. Pete takes one of the most trusted franchises in Hip-Hop in an organic direction. “A lot of this album sounds like samples extracted from records. We dressed it up and added definition to what it is. It’s Hip-Hop, but have you ever heard Pete Rock not sample anything or work with a band? It’s exciting. I’m a musician, whether I’m sampling or not,” Pete declares. “Music is music; it’s what I think about all day, every day.”
PeteStrumentals 3 takes the series to a new frontier. “I wanted to keep the same feeling that people got with the first PeteStrumentals, even if I’m not sampling,” Pete says.
This time, he assembled a band. Tapping two-time Grammy-winning drummer Daru Jones (Jack White, Talib Kweli, Black Milk), the two friends recruited guitarist Marcus Machado, bassists MonoNeon (Prince, Nas, Mac Miller) and Christopher McBride, keyboardist BigYuki (A Tribe Called Quest), and vocalist Jermaine Holmes (D’Angelo). “I want the best; I’m like James Brown and Kool & The Gang; I want precision,” Pete Rock admits.
With the release of the album’s first single and video, “Say It Again,” you can hear how Pete’s creations come to life with his band and all-original sound; a band that he insists maintains his trademark knock. “This is something that I’ve always wanted to do” Pete commented. “Being an avid digger of albums and 45s, I now have a band to study and reinterpret these records. Presenting this to the world is so fulfilling.”
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Now available on Pete Rock’s Tru Soul imprint, PeteStrumentals 3 marks a new beginning which will surely usher in a new generation of “Pete’s Treats.”